Digital field work for non-technical employees? EineStadt manages this balancing act with a little helper, the NFC tag. Mounted on trees, playground equipment, etc. - touching the tag with the smartphone, employees and citizens can "talk" to the objects, enter defects and measures.
In the spring of 2016, the first application "Trees" of the EineStadt system went into productive use in the small city of Schwabmünchen in Bavaria - but now employees from the building yard, waterworks, sewage treatment plant and building management appreciate the easy use of the app. And other administrations and companies in Germany, Austria and Switzerland also use the system and have already tagged several 10,000 objects.
How the system works:
- Every object subject to traffic safety regulations is provided with a digital tag. If an employee touches the tag with their tablet or smartphone, the app immediately displays the factual data of the regarding object. New properties and deficiencies can then be entered in the system, problems can be reported, and pending tasks can be assigned and managed directly. Any deficiencies can be recorded by photos directly on site and measures can be assigned.
- The system uses "Near Field Communication" technology. As the name already describes, the smartphone only has to be held close enough to the special NFC tag to read it. For a number of years, almost all mobile devices have been equipped with the appropriate NFC function; the tags are an established technology and can therefore also be used cost-effectively on a large scale. NFC tags are also characterized by their outdoor resistance and their long service life. They are waterproof thanks to special coatings; the chips do not require a battery.
- The search for objects in complicated maps or confusing lists becomes superfluous with the step towards digitalization, opening the objects simply by touching the digital sticker.
- Any defects and errors in objects can be documented on site simply by voice input or with a photo.
Benefits for employees:
- Pending orders can be assigned directly via the system – including to external users. Reading the tags on site always ensures that employees and companies were actually at the location of the object.
- Seen in the long term, processes will be greatly simplified – but legal protection, which is provided by a complete object history, also plays an increasingly important role. Details such as a reminder function for upcoming inspections prevent upcoming maintenance from being missed.
- In addition, the integrated defect reporter has become established in the municipalities that use “EineStadt”: Reports about defective street lamps, full trash bins or even damaged playground equipment arrive at the right place almost every day via the system. Citizens can report problems by touching the badge without downloading an app. However, the citizen does not see as many details as logged-in city employees.
- According to user statements, fears of contact with the “new technology” are unfounded: Employees at all levels can “program” the tag themselves without any problems. It can be set up on site using any standard smartphone.
The city of Schwabmünchen and many other communities are already doing it and are enthusiastic. The future is digital management! And the company “EineStadt” is always open for questions and concerns during the step towards digitization.